Hello, I’d like to take a flight without actually setting foot in the airport, get driven to or from my plane and I won’t be flying private, can you make that happen?
There are plenty of airports where “LOL” would be the only appropriate response, but at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), there’s actually a way to make that happen. Now, Amex Centurion – aka ‘Black Card’ – ballers can do just that, and perhaps others too, thanks to a ridiculously cool new card benefit.
If there was ever a time to be envious, this is one of the coolest travel perks around, and yes, it involves being driven to the steps of your commercial plane, and most likely some champagne to celebrate, too.
Amex and PS LAX Partnership
PS, formerly known as the Private Suite, is the most ridiculous solution to airport luxury in the United States. Of course, ridiculous is meant with the highest of praise. It’s become the go-to for A-list celebrities, titans of industry and people who just want to make the airport, anything but.
It starts with a private facility across the airport from all the commercial terminals, where a private suite to relax before flight awaits, before a BMW ride to your flight at the perfect moment.
It’s probably also worth mentioning that there’s a fully private TSA security checkpoint with no one in front or behind, and even US Immigration with the same bliss. Literally everything on the ground is even nicer than flying private, truly.
Every need is catered to, and the suites themselves are like a candy shop for adults, with stocked bars, every gadget known to mankind and a team of professionals that handle everything from the drop off of your bags, to collection of boarding passes and it all feels like highly trained Secret Service agents have your back.
As the experience teaser might have you guessing, it’s expensive AF though.
Currently, use of the facility is over $4,350 one way, for up to four people. To reduce costs, a membership can be purchased for a few grand, but you still pay over $3,200 per use. Ridiculous for many, but also chump change to many in La La Land.
In what feels like the most natural partnership ever though, PS started a partnership with Amex, where Centurion Members receive a free complimentary PS membership worth $4,500 a few years ago, which entitles them to the lower rates per use. It’s all very cool, but still a bit much for some, even ‘Black Card’ holders.
But eyeing and inquiring about construction project at the facility, GSTP was told that Amex and PS are building an ‘Amex Experience’ lounge at LAX, which will offer Amex an unprecedented new avenue to cater to luxury seeking cardmembers at the popular West Coast hub. The PS website has a FAQ section which confirms all that’s said to be in the works.
What’s New With PS And Amex ‘Black Card’
Once the new luxury facility is completed in the near term, all Centurion ‘Black Card’ members will receive one annual complimentary access to the ‘Amex Experience’ at PS LAX, which is everything but the fully private suite.
Instead, you’ll have an ultra posh shared lounge, also miles from the terminal, just next door to the fully private suites. A full on food and beverage service of the highest level will naturally be included.
And yes, you still get the amazingly cool car ride to the plane, private TSA, CBP and all that jazz. For plane spotters, the car ride is worth it. How often do you get to drive right around an A380 taxiing off the runway?
Speaking to PS reps, if you’re taking advantage in the nearer term, GSTP understands Centurion members are “upgraded” to a fully private suite, since the facility isn’t quite yet up and running. That’s a $3,200 upgrade!
After the first complimentary experience inevitably dazzles cardmembers, Centurion members will be able to pay $550 per person to use the newly built ‘Amex Experience’ lounge, private security, immigration and car ride to the plane thereafter.
Amex Platinum Card Too?
What’s unclear is if Amex will open this enviable new travel option up to Platinum Card holders too. There’s no way a $550 a year paying Platinum Card member would get a comped $4,500 PS membership, but maybe the ability to book the cool new Amex PS experience? If space permits, why not?
There’s also rumors of Amex launching a new luxury card in between Platinum and Centurion, so perhaps there’s something to watch there. All I can say is that $550 to avoid the airport sounds like a lot, and it is, but once you’ve done it, you may start finding ways to justify things.
As they say “watch this space” as PS and Amex climb for new levels of luxury in US airport experience. And if you get a chance to experience it, take pictures so you can relish in the memories… forever. Or at least until the next PS LAX.